9/30/13

It's been crazy!

I swear that sometimes I am not sure if I am coming or going.  My week looks like this:

Monday: Meetings in the morning. Volleyball Practice after school. Pick up Chey from her practice. Home by 8:30. Help Abby/Asher with homework and get kids ready for tomorrow. Read and pray with them.

Tuesday: Girls need to be early for band/choir/student council. Volleyball practice after school. Pick up Chey. Home by 8:30. Help Abby/Asher with homework and get kids ready for tomorrow. Read and pray with them.

Wednesday: Devotions in the morning. Freedoms volleyball practice to 5. Volunteer at church in the evening. Home by 9.

Thursday: Girls need to be early for band/choir/student council. Freedoms practice to 5, then my team has volleyball practice after school. Pick up Chey. Home by 8:30. Help Abby/Asher with homework and get kids ready for tomorrow. Read and pray with them.

Friday: At least one of my kids or my grade 8 girls team has a tournament. Freedom has dance right after school.Girls have NURV at church.

Saturday: At least one of my kids or my grade 8 girls team has a tournament.  This is get homework done in the evening day too. All shopping for classroom/groceries/projects needs to get done.

Sunday: Someone will volunteer at church - it depends on which weekend it is. 

Somewhere in there we must get housework done, prepping, marking, spend time with Mr. Spouse and the little ones who miss me a lot. But, don't get me wrong - I love being busy.  I think one of the best things you can do for your kids is keep them busy as well.  My kids are in choir, vocal jazz, volunteer at least once a week somewhere, are on student council, play sports, Chey is even doing a distance ed chemistry. Are they busy - yes.  Do they complain - sometimes.  Do they enjoy being busy - yes.  Is it good for their self esteem, intrinsic motivation, and keeping them in the mindset that they are here to be servant leaders - absolutely!

I just wanted to mention that I have added some more pages to my Place Values, Arrays, and Long Multiplication Unit.  Some of my students needed some extra guidance so I made the pages and added them to the pack. I also added a few extra pages of questions so you can do a few more walkthroughs with the class. You can check it out in my TPT store here Place Value, Arrays, and Long Multiplication.


9/24/13




Volleyball season is upon us.  In my household that equates with chaos. I coach the Grade 8 girls, my daughter Freedom is on the Grade 7 team and Cheyenne is varsity. We have a practice or tournament pretty much every day from now until the end of November.  Sometimes more than one at a time.  This weekend Grandma Nancy is taking Chey to her tournament because my team has their first tournament in Steinbach. I am excited! This is my first year coaching and the team of girls I have is making it a great year.  On top of that I get to coach my daughter Zoe.
 
We have been super busy in 7A.  We are learning all about ecosystems and populations right now.  We are making ecosystems in a jar and watching the wetland ecosystem turn into a grasslands ecosystem throughout the unit.  We have a such a wide variety of aquatic plants and soil types that we are able to observe several different speeds of succession taking place.  It is very cool! The kids are working on their population projects - a poster or story that tells me all about the life of their population and how they interact with their living and non living environment.  I have some amazing writers in my class, as well as some great writers.  So far the work has been exceptional. 

In math we are working on place value - this seems like an easy concept but few of the students have actually mastered it. If you do not understand the value of a number you cannot use it properly in addition, subtraction, division or multiplication.  We are still making some very basic mistakes like forgetting to carry or ignoring a 0 where there should be one.

To work towards getting rid of this learning gap we are working with Arrays, Extended and compact versions of numbers before heading into long multiplication.  We are also using our interactive math journals  {inspired by Runde!}to explore place value. We used the Place Value Flippable by 4mulaFun and did our mathematical thinking on the adjacent page.  We will be making numbers today and practicing saying them out loud and then writing them down. We are working in this book { to the left}and so far I can see some improvement in their conceptual understanding. 


9/16/13

It's my birthday so let us celebrate with a very simple contest...

Today I am the ripe old age of 33. I have a touch of the flu so I feel 65!! 

I am feeling rather generous so I will give away three products from my store to three lucky winners.

How do you win?  Simple.

Visit my TPT store http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Mrshildebrand

Find something you would like to have.

Pin it.

Comment below with the URL of your pin.

A random generator will choose 3 lucky winners. 

You can get a second entry by sharing the news about this birthday giveaway on any social media and also posting that URL in a separate comment below.

Good luck!

9/15/13

Guest of honor..Who.. me??

This week I am the guest of honor over at the blog Always a Teacher and Forever a Mom. Catia has a great blog - if you are looking for a place to learn about hobbies and crafts {she is an amazing cross-stitcher}  want to read about the game of stretch, see some amazing baked creations, take in some great organization tips or just read all about me and why I am a teacher check it out!!  Leave some feedback!

9/11/13

It's going....


This week was our first full week back at school.  Teaching grade 7 is a lot of fun!  I have a great class.  The only complaint I have is that my feet hurt!  I am not sure if the floor is different or my shoes are bad – but they hurt!

We have started teaching the curriculum now, which means ice breakers and All About Me are winding down.  It is a lot of fun to get to know the students in the first few weeks of school.  This year I am extra lucky – my middle daughter is in my classroom and I know most of the kids quite well since they are all friends.  I also got luck and teach older sibling of few of my Grade 1s last year so a few of the families are familiar.  To top that off they were my classes reading buddies last year!

I am ACTUALLY enjoying math.  Anyone who knows me knows that this is what scared me the most.  Not that I could not do the math, but that I would not be able to teach to a room of eager young minds.  When I grew up we just memorized the algorithm and were done with it.  If you did not get the algorithm you were in TROUBLE.  I am glad that is not the case anymore.  It also helps that I know that our principal used to teach Grade 7 Math and is only around the corner from me most of the time if I need a witty idea or strategy.  Thank God for Professional Development and Mrs.
Bayne. 

Struggling with math in school means that I can relate to the kids in my class who don’t get it and I think this makes me a better teacher. I have to find several ways to teach in order to do a good job of covering the material and in the process am able to teach to a room of diverse learners.  We both win. I also find that putting the outcomes up at the front of that class an explaining WHY we are doing something makes them a little more willing to input themselves into what we are doing.

I adore teaching science.  This was the part of my teaching that my Grade 1s loved most last year.  Grade 7 is not very different. They are all excited about the experiments.  I am trying to make learning very accessible and interactive so that even the “mundane” book work becomes exciting and looked forward to.  Right now we are studying Ecosystems.  We have only begun to scratch the surface of learning – we have just started looking at what we already know about ecosystems; what defines an ecosystem, what biotic and abiotic are and how things in an ecosystem interact with eachother.  

This is the song we used as part of our lesson today.  Mr. Parr has tons of great science songs that I cannot wait to use!

We are supplementing our learning with the Ecosystems unit by Classroom Complete Press.  You can preview it here { http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ecosystems-Gr-5-8-447083 } if you are interested.  It covers all the major topics we cover in the curriculum. I am supplementing it with activities and worksheets I am making myself.  We will working on a small group project soon so they are excited about that.   I will post some pictures of what we are doing.  If all goes well we will be trying to make a short stop motion film about our project.  Pray we are blessed!

In Bible we are learning about becoming effective teens who do not accept the low expectations that society places on them.  We are learning to do hard things and know that with God we can do anything.  We talked about habits today and how simple habits can set us up for failure or success.  This lead to some pretty heavy discussions and I was surprised that we were already talking about some of those hard topics that we know they will face out in the world.  I am very pumped about this unit – we are going to be doing some very challenging things an I am glad that they are also excited about pushing themselves. 

Anyways, I should go and prep for Friday.  I have a sub since I am going to a volleyball coaching clinic.  I am coaching Grade 8 girls this year.  It is going to be AWESOME!

Just a quick note that I have uploaded part of the review unit I am doing with my Grade 7s.  You can view it here { http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Place-Value-Arrays-and-Long-Multiplication-865049 } It is called Place Value, Arrays and Long Multiplication. 

 

9/6/13

Yesterday was the first day back at school with the kids. I got great bunch of Grade 7's, including my
middle daughter :o). Seriously, am I the only one who feels like first day always flies by? We barely had time to do lockers, cubbies, binders and play a few games.

Both of my grade 7 classes LOVED the icebreakers. We played Who am I? Guess Who and did the fishbowl activity! You can take a peek at them here in my TPT store. It is one of my best sellers right now. Everyone commented on my classroom - I guess you can take the primary teacher out of the school but not out of the teacher. I moved up to the Grade 7's from a Grade 1 last year. I think - well, I know that mine is the only one with an owl clock and zebra print borders on everything. I even made a "bench" out of the bin storage shelf. I had *fun* decorating this year. The decorating was not only pretty - but functional. I believe in everything having a place. Organization is a teachers best friend! Personally I cannot wait until next year to add more!

Each class has a portion of the board for homework, the bags at the bottom of the board are for homework.  The assignment goes in a page protector on the front and when the kids put it into the bag they sign and date a sheet on the back so it is on record.  I never take homework from them.    My bellringers board is Sudoku right now, something simple they can do when they come in to get them working and not visiting. The pictures on the board behind my desk are all part of our bible units.  I am excite to get my bulletin boards up next week!  Ecosystems, base ten place value review, Back to the Basics {love God, love others} and ALL About ME {yearly goals}. The blue and green cavases at the front are for the outcomes in math and science that we are focusing on.  I printed and laminated them!


I also completed another one of my {Friday Fun Series} activities - layering liquids. My Grade Ones last year loved it. It focuses on observation, predication, and conclusions. It also teaches about density and how density affects liquids. It includes two experiments - lava lamps and the layered liquids rainbow activity. Check it out here.

9/1/13

Another giveaway..yes please!

You can grab up some great goodies in this 50 follower giveaway over at Looney's Lit Blog !  {Including winners choice from my TPT store!}  Check it out here !